Drug Addiction: A Misunderstood Chemical Romance
We've all seen the word "addiction" everywhere, from spokespeople coming into your schools to talk about the "dangers of drug addiction" to your parents constantly telling you that "drugs will fry your brain". It's a universal fear, nobody wants their kid, friend, or other loved ones falling into the depths of drug addiction. But no matter how much everyone knows the topic, it also appears as they know nothing of it, or how and why it's caused. All they know is "all drugs are addictive, and as such, all those who try them end up shooting fentanyl in McDonald's bathrooms", and as such, they end up spreading that fear and misinformation to their friends, and offspring without ever understanding or questioning the reason.
Depression, PTSD, and Drug Addiction
Most drug addictions don't start with a healthy individual raised from a good family suddenly having the urge to try heroin. Most of those who are involved in the usage are also more likely suffering from some type of form of depression, or PTSD  compared to those who don't use any substance. This is most likely due to users desiring to "self medicate" rather than live in the constant guilt or self-criticism they experience while sober.
Fatherless Households and Depression
According to the U.S census bureau, 31% of children in the U.S live in a household without a father . This is important since research shows that a lack of paternal presence on a child's life are more likely to become depressed.  Additionally, those without a father are also likely to do poorly in school compared to those who had a paternal figure in their lives.
As mentioned previously, those who suffer from depression are more likely to pick up drug usage to cope with their feelings of loneliness and possibly social anxiety associated with not having a father.  While not having a father isn't the main reason why people become depressed, it's a big factor that can lead to depression for Americans.
Rape victims and Substance Abuse
1 in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys are likely to experience rape before the age of 18. According to research, rape victims are also more likely to have a substance use disorder or an alcohol abuse disorder.
People who've suffered from rape are also 1.5 times more likely to have reported using drugs compared to those who were never abused. This is because those who've suffered through sexual abuse use drugs as a means of coping with their memories of that traumatic experience.
It's not just to cope with the memories themselves, but also the ramifications those memories that harm their self-esteem, self-worth, and image of themselves. All these issues cause many social problems with rape victims, leading to social isolation, greater self-hate, a thus vicious cycle which further deteriorates the victim's mental condition.
War Veterans and Substance Abuse
It's commonly known that war veterans suffer from heavy PTSD from all the things they've had to see and experience during their service. It's estimated that around 30% of all war veterans will have suffered through PTSD in some form during their lifetime.  Additionally, it's also been found that war veterans have a higher rate of aggression compared to those without it. Additionally, anger alone is linked with drug addiction, as a result, this leads war veterans with a higher chance of developing a substance abuse disorder compared to other types of PTSD.
Further research also shows that up to 11% of all war veterans are homeless. This is important because those who are homeless are also more likely to fall back into drugs to cope with the hardships of living in the streets.
Legalization & Rehabilitation
The main takeaway of this article is that the circumstances that lead people to addiction are often a result of a greater and more complex issue. Banning drugs won't suddenly resolve drug use, it's just treating the symptoms, but not the root of the disease that plagues our modern society.
If we want to truly solve this issue as a society, we must stop punishing those who use substances, but rather help them, and rehabilitate them by providing psychiatric treatment to those affected by drug addiction.
By tackling the true issue that plagues our nation and our nation, not only would we provide a safer environment for future generations, save those who've fallen into drug addiction, prevent drug addiction, and improve the quality of life of many.
If you need support for drug addiction, please drop by our Discord server and we won't mind hearing you out. While you should try seeking professional help by a psychiatrist, we know not everyone has access to those kinds of services.
Incapacitated, forcible, and drug/alcohol‐facilitated rape concerning binge drinking, marijuana use, and illicit drug use: A national survey - McCauley - 2010 - Journal of Traumatic Stress - Wiley Online Library ↩︎